Aston Villa 0-1 Manchester United: Januzaj strike sinks Villa

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  • Adnan Januzaj scored in his first Premier League start since February
  • David de Gea was not included in Manchester United’s team
  • Manchester United has not lost a PL match at Villa Park since 1995

Manchester United’s dominance over Aston Villa continued tonight, as Adnan Januzaj’s first half strike was enough to earn the Red Devils all three points at Villa Park. United has won more games against Villa than any side has against a single opponent in Premier League history, as they now sit alone at the top of the table heading into the weekend.

[ RELATED: Watch full match replays ]

Almost all of Manchester United’s attack was going up the left wing to start the match, with Luke Shaw constantly getting forward to join Memphis Depay, who was playing out wide with Adnan Januzaj in a more central role. It was Januzaj’s first start for United since February, and Louis van Gaal looked like a genius as the 20-year-old Belgian opened the scoring in the 29th minute.

Juan Mata controlled the ball on the left and threaded the needle to Januzaj with a brilliant pass through the Villa defense. Januzaj cut back past Micah Richards and his shot took a deflection past Brad Guzan, giving the Red Devils a 1-0 lead.

[ RELATED: Latest Premier League standings ]

Despite United controlling most of the possession, Aston Villa should have gotten a chance to draw level with a valid shout for a penalty. Off a corner kick, Micah Richards went up for a header but was clearly being held back by Matteo Darmian, who had both of his hands up around the neck of the Villa captain. However, referee Mike Dean said play on as the first half ended 1-0 in favor of United.

Coming out of the break, Aston Villa looked the better side as Tim Sherwood’s men pushed for an equalizer. United was pinned inside their own half as they struggled to cope with the Villans high energy, forcing Louis van Gaal to make some early substitutions. In the 60th minute, Ander Hererra and Bastian Schweinsteiger came in as defensive reinforcements, replacing Michael Carrick and the goalscorer Adnan Januzaj.

[ MORE: Click here for full lineups, stats, box score ]

Once the changes were made, United regained control of the match and slowed down the pace of the Villa attack. Memphis Depay nearly made it 2-0 after Juan Mata played another brilliant ball through, but the Dutchman’s shot curled just wide of the far post.

Villa tried to find a late goal to steal a point, but it wasn’t enough as United held on for the win.

WATCH: Zlatan stunner answers Vela’s opener in El Trafico

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic is walking it like he talks it, not that that’s anything new.

A few days after claiming superiority over LAFC superstar Carlos Vela, Ibrahimovic and his Galaxy trailed early in El Trafico via a Vela penalty.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Naturally, Zlatan took it upon himself to answer the bell with his 14th goal in 17 games.

Ibrahimovic chests a long ball onto his right foot, cooking Eduard Atuesta by pushing it into position for a tremendous lash into the LAFC goal.

And if you haven’t been following LAFC’s amazing season, Atuesta’s probably been the side’s best player after Vela, who now has 20 goals in 20 games.

Wizard stuff.

Borussia Dortmund tops Liverpool 3-2 at Notre Dame

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A half-hour of the big guns wasn’t enough to get Jurgen Klopp a result against his former team.

Harry Wilson and Rhian Brewster scored for Liverpool in a 3-2 loss to Borussia Dortmund at the University of Notre Dame on Friday.

Paco Alcacer, Thomas Delaney, and Jacob Bruun Larsen scored for the Black Yellow, who led 3-1 when mass changes began with Virgil Van Dijk, Georginio Wijnaldum, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jordan Henderson, and Andrew Robertson entering the match.

Liverpool faces Sevilla on Sunday at Fenway Park in Boston.

[ MORE: Latest on Eriksen ]

Alcacer with the ball in the box is a bad idea, and the Spaniard took advantage of Nathaniel Clyne and Joel Matip to smash home from a yard outside the six.

Wilson leveled the score before halftime, but Delaney made it 2-1 in the 53rd minute when a long diagonal ball beat the Reds line and a low pass across the box went undetected.

It was 3-1 via a clever Bruun Larsen touch to wrong foot James Milner, but Brewster brought the Reds back to within one when he converted a 75th minute penalty won by Ben Woodburn.

Liverpool was without Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino, and Mohamed Salah, who are on break after deep summer tournament runs.

Eriksen offered big Spurs wages, but Atletico Madrid lurks

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Christian Eriksen may trade London for Madrid after all, but Marca claims it’ll be Real Madrid’s rivals who earn the services of Tottenham’s Danish playmaker.

Eriksen, 27, scored 10 goals with 17 assists for Spurs in all competitions last season, and was reportedly ready to spread his wings for Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Kean to Everton? ]

But pro-Real site Marca says Zinedine Zidane doesn’t want Eriksen at the Bernabeu, and that Diego Simeone feels differently… should Atletico Madrid fail at landing his prime option.

That’s James Rodriguez, who remains property of Real and that’s a problem.

So Eriksen to Atleti, helping to replace Antoine Griezmann? It’s possible.

From Marca.com:

Just last November, the London club put a 250 million euro price tag on his head, but now appear keen to move him on. The next few days will likely reveal a lot about what’s to come.

So we may get an idea of whether this report has any guts to it by next week. There could be some sense to it, but Metro claims that Spurs are offering Eriksen an “enormous” contract to keep him in North London.

Enormous means a doubling of Eriksen’s wages, and the Dane is said to be happy in England. Might Spurs hold off the finest of La Liga and Serie A after all.

Report: Everton could land Juventus’ Kean after all

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Everton could end up with one of the hottest prospects in world soccer.

Moise Kean may wind up leaving Juventus due to the club’s failure to offload fellow strikers Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain.

And Kean, 19, was poised for a breakthrough to the first team, to the extent that Juve reportedly turned down a $33 million bid from Everton.

[ MORE: Algeria wins AFCON ]

The Toffees, however, may have new life due to the Higuain/Mandzukic problem, and Sky Sports Italia reports that Kean may indeed be an option for Marco Silva‘s club. He could join Michael Keane, if he’s keen.

It wouldn’t be surprising if Kean elected to leave Italy given the racial abuse he’s suffered in Serie A (Though racism is everywhere, of course).

The same report says Kean turned down a Barcelona offer because he would’ve headed on loan, while Arsenal is also said to be in the mix.

Kean scored six Serie A goals with an assist in just 13 matches for Juventus last season after scoring four times for Hellas Verona on loan.